Monday, May 14, 2018

Pentecost study notes

Study notes
(20 May 2018)
Series B

Ezekiel 37:1–14
Acts 2:1–21
John 15:26–27; 16:4b–15

The Holy Spirit Brings the Dead to Life by the Righteousness of Christ

In returning to His Father by way of the cross and resurrection, Christ Jesus sends “the Helper” to His Church, that is, “the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father.”

The Spirit testifies of Christ and glorifies Him, by taking what is His and declaring it to the world in the preaching of repentance for the forgiveness of sins (John 15:26; 16:7, 14).

He convicts the world of sin by the word of the Law, He forgives sins and justifies sinners by the Word of the Gospel, and He bestows the faith that says “Amen” to this righteousness of God (John 16:8–11).

Therefore, the Lord pours out His Spirit on the apostles, that by their preaching, the Spirit should be given to His entire Church. As the multitudes are gathered from all the nations by “this sound,” that is, by the preaching of “the mighty works of God” in Christ Jesus, so does God the Father pour out the Spirit of His Son “on all flesh” (Acts 2:6, 11, 17).

The Lord God breathes upon the slain, and so shall they live; for so the Lord has spoken, and He shall do it (Ezekiel. 37:5–14).

O God, on this day You once taught the hearts of Your faithful people by sending them the light of Your Holy Spirit. Grant us in our day by the same Spirit to have a right understanding in all things and evermore to rejoice in His holy consolation;

Pentecost Gospel  -John 15:26-27; 16:4b-15

John 15:26 -  Ὅταν ἔλθῃ ὁ Παράκλητος ὃν ἐγὼ πέμψω ὑμῖν παρὰ τοῦ Πατρός, τὸ Πνεῦμα τῆς ἀληθείας ὃ παρὰ τοῦ Πατρὸς ἐκπορεύεται, ἐκεῖνος μαρτυρήσει περὶ ἐμοῦ
When the “Advocate” (comforter, helper, Paraclete) comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who comes from the Father, he will testify on my behalf.

- I will send..."the One who proceeds from the Father."

Jesus is the Spirit of the Son - see Romans 8:9; Galatians 4:6; 1 Peter 1:11 

Western Christians rightly understand this passage to imply a double procession of the Holy Spirit from both the Father and the Son. 

John 15:27 - καὶ ὑμεῖς δὲ μαρτυρεῖτε, ὅτι ἀπ’ ἀρχῆς μετ’ ἐμοῦ ἐστε.
You also are to testify because you have been with me from the beginning.

John 16:4a- ἀλλὰ ταῦτα λελάληκα ὑμῖν ἵνα ὅταν ἔλθῃ ἡ ὥρα αὐτῶν μνημονεύητε αὐτῶν, ὅτι ἐγὼ εἶπον ὑμῖν.
But I have said these things to you so that when their hour comes you may remember that I told you about them.

John 16:4b -ταῦτα δὲ ὑμῖν ἐξ ἀρχῆς οὐκ εἶπον, ὅτι μεθ’ ὑμῶν ἤμην.
I did not say these things to you from the beginning, because I was with you.

John 16:5 - νῦν δὲ ὑπάγω πρὸς τὸν πέμψαντά με, καὶ οὐδεὶς ἐξ ὑμῶν ἐρωτᾷ με Ποῦ ὑπάγεις;
 But now I am going to him who sent me; yet none of you asks me, “Where are you going?

John 16:6 - ἀλλ’ ὅτι ταῦτα λελάληκα ὑμῖν, ἡ λύπη πεπλήρωκεν ὑμῶν τὴν καρδίαν.
But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your hearts.

John 16:7 - ἀλλ’ ἐγὼ τὴν ἀλήθειαν λέγω ὑμῖν, συμφέρει ὑμῖν ἵνα ἐγὼ ἀπέλθω. ἐὰν γὰρ μὴ ἀπέλθω, ὁ Παράκλητος οὐ μὴ ἔλθῃ πρὸς
 Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you.
John 16:8 - καὶ ἐλθὼν ἐκεῖνος ἐλέγξει τὸν κόσμον περὶ ἁμαρτίας καὶ περὶ δικαιοσύνης καὶ περὶ κρίσεως
And when he comes, he will prove the world wrong about* sin and righteousness and judgment

- "Convict" - This is the Spirit's work through the Law.

"Christ's Spirit must not only comfort, but also through the office of the Law 'convict the world concerning sin' [FC SD V 11}

Advocate's proving the world wrong about sin and righteousness and judgment (Verse 8) may have been a key in what set the early followers of Jesus apart as a radically transforming faith:

The world is wrong about sin...confessing that Sin is not genetic; it is not inherited; it does not alienate us from God - does not create a chasm between us and God.

The truth about sin is that God is unshakably, constantly, eternally our friend. Nothing, not even our sin breaks God's bond and loyalty to us.

It is noteworthy that Jesus says "sin" has to do with the matter of belief. The Spirit teaches us that sin at its heart is not a matter of actions or morality, but has to do with whether and how we will receive and believe in the Son as the one whom God has sent into the world.

John the Baptist testifies to the arrival of the Son with the words "Here is the lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world"(1:29). Later John says, "This is the judgment that they did not believe in the one whom God sent (3:18).

Sin stands exposed precisely at the opportune moment of decision between faith and unbelief. Jesus says that it is always for us the moment of that decision (Greek kairos; see 7:6). The Spirit's role is to bring Christ present for us and so to face us with that point of decision and faith.

John 16:9 - περὶ ἁμαρτίας μέν, ὅτι οὐ πιστεύουσιν εἰς ἐμέ.
About sin, because they do not believe in me;

- In the final analysis, sin is unbelief and the refusal to trust in God

John 16:10 - περὶ δικαιοσύνης δέ, ὅτι πρὸς τὸν Πατέρα ὑπάγω καὶ οὐκέτι θεωρεῖτέ με
about righteousness, because I am going to the Father and you will see me no longer;

The world is wrong about righteousness.
Righteousness (being right with God) is not about paying debts owed to God; it is not about fulfilling obligations to God.

The truth about being right with God (i.e., "righteousness") is that while nothing ever breaks God's bond with us sometimes even the best of friends have to apologize and make up.
Jesus says, the Spirit convinces us about "righteousness," which has to do with Jesus returning to the Father. That Jesus is at the point of returning to the Father is the signal that the role of Jesus in his sending and mission has been completed. Righteousness has to do with Jesus' testimony that all that the Father has given him to do has been accomplished in his death and resurrection. The glory of the Son has been truly seen. God's righteousness has been made known in God's love and sending of the Son. Now the Spirit will be present to continue to convince the disciple community that this is true.
John 16:11 - Ἔτι πολλὰ ἔχω ὑμῖν λέγειν, ἀλλ’ οὐ δύνασθε βαστάζειν ἄρτι
              about judgment, because the ruler of this world has been condemned.

The world is wrong about judgment.
Judgment is not about being condemned eternally; it is not about being forever cut off from God.
The truth about judgment is that living in the light means bringing faults and failures out into the open where they can be healed. Judgment is not about condemnation; it is about telling the truth, healing and reconciliation.

The Spirit convinces us about judgment, and that judgment is precisely that in the actions of the Trinity the ruler of this world has been condemned. If there is then any judgment, that judgment has to do with all that would not believe that what God is about in the Son is to show God's love and to bring that abundant life to those whom the Son has chosen and for whom he has given his life as the good shepherd who lays down his life for the sheep. "For God sent the Son into the world, not for the purpose of standing in judgment over the world, but in order that through him the world might be saved" (3:17).

Now that issue of judgment has been met. Salvation has indeed come in the fulfillment of the Son's mission. Now the Spirit has come to make good on that promise and to continue to convince those who hear the witness of the Son that this is indeed good news and true. Such conviction is also the invitation to join in that witness which is indeed for all the world to hear --  to become agents of that same convincing for those "other sheep" for whom Jesus also died and was raised, to the end that all may be one, even as the Father, Son and Spirit are one in purpose and mission.

John 16:12 - ὅταν δὲ ἔλθῃ ἐκεῖνος, τὸ Πνεῦμα τῆς ἀληθείας, ὁδηγήσει ὑμᾶς εἰς τὴν ἀλήθειαν πᾶσαν• οὐ γὰρ λαλήσει ἀφ’ ἑαυτοῦ, ἀλλ’ ὅσα ἀκούει λαλήσει, καὶ τὰ ἐρχόμενα ἀναγγελεῖ ὑμῖν.
I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now.

John 16:13 - ὅταν δὲ ἔλθῃ ἐκεῖνος, τὸ Πνεῦμα τῆς ἀληθείας, ὁδηγήσει ὑμᾶς εἰς τὴν ἀλήθειαν πᾶσαν• οὐ γὰρ λαλήσει ἀφ’ ἑαυτοῦ, ἀλλ’ ὅσα ἀκούει λαλήσει, καὶ τὰ ἐρχόμενα ἀναγγελεῖ ὑμῖν.
When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth; for he will not speak on his own, but will speak whatever he hears, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.

John 16:14 - ἐκεῖνος ἐμὲ δοξάσει, ὅτι ἐκ τοῦ ἐμοῦ λήμψεται καὶ ἀναγγελεῖ ὑμῖν.
                      He will glorify me, because he will take what is mine and declare it to you.

John 16:15 - πάντα ὅσα ἔχει ὁ Πατὴρ ἐμά ἐστιν• διὰ τοῦτο εἶπον ὅτι ἐκ τοῦ ἐμοῦ λαμβάνει καὶ ἀναγγελεῖ ὑμῖν.
All that the Father has is mine. For this reason I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you.

When the Spirit comes He will convict the world concerning sin, concerning righteousness and concerning judgment.
1. In regards to sin
      A. Because men in and of themselves do not believe in Jesus
      B. He’ll talk about sin and the fact that natural men do not believe in Christ

2. In regards to righteousness
      A. Jesus said: “Because I am going back to the Father, where you can not see me no longer.”
      B. He speaks to this world about what is right in God’s sight.

3. In regards to judgment.
      A.      Because the prince of this world strands condemned. 
      B.      The old evil foe- Satan - now stands condemned.   

The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.
Η ΚΑΙΝΗ ΔΙΑΘΗΚΗ Text, by Eberhard Nestle, courtesy of

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